I recently related the tale of the creation of the ‘Celt Experience’ brewery in Wales by Tom Newman – you’ll find it here.
In the summer of 2013, Tom found himself in Chicago (as you do), collaborating with Atlas Brewing and Ale Syndicate. Tom commented that the day they were due to make their collaborative brew was the Summer Solstice, and recalled a Celtic tradition where young people would pick bouquets of seven different types of flowers and put them under their pillow in hopes of dreaming of their future.
A brew comprising seven different hops (Cascade, Citra, East Kent Goldings, Hallertauer Hersbrucker, Simcoe, Tomahawk, and Warrior) was concocted with over sixty ‘hop interventions’ and ‘Seven Flowers’ Ale, brewed to a hearty 8.1% ABV was the result.
Tom brought the recipe back to Wales and now brews it locally, and thankfully not just at midsummer.
It pours a rich apricot colour, with a full, off white head and leaves a healthy lacing down the glass.
The nose is rich, floral, peachy with hints of more exotic fruit, those cascade, citra and simcoe hops to the fore.
The flavour initially follows that peachy nose, but those aromatic hops are backed by richer ‘noble’ hops, giving a wonderful rounded flavour.
While it’s an IPA, it’s reminiscent of Sam Adams ‘Noble Pils’ – which I gave 4 stars to, while Scott ‘only’ gave it 3½ stars. Imagine ‘Noble Pils’ with a massive 8.1% of alcohol; that underlying potency provides a solid foundation to the complex flavour.
Many ‘double’ IPAs and APAs focus on a single hop variety, I’ve had varietal ‘doubles’ based on Simcoe and Citra, but this beautiful blend gives a great drinking experience.
A truly magnificent beer… Five stars